2000 Chrysler 300 • 6 cylinder FWD Automatic • 158,000 miles

I own a 2000 Chrysler 300m, and have been driving it daily for the past three years. The car had 102,000 miles when I bought it, it now has 158,000. About three months ago, at 154,000 miles, the driver side wheel bearing began to hum. Shortly after, before I was able to fix the bearing, the ball joint on the passenger side snapped. I had it towed in to a shop, and the mechanic told me I needed a ball joint as well as a new CV axle. The total for this repair was $432, $150 for labor, as well as $155 for the ball joint and $108 for the CV axle. The mechanic didn't fix the wheel bearing on the other side, and I took the car back as it was because I needed transportation. When he returned the car, he told me that I needed the same thing done on the other side, but that I had a month or so to do it. A week later, the wheel bearing broke on the driver side, and I returned the car to him. This time he charged me $665, $200 for labor, $97 for the bearing assembly, $108 for another CV axle, $115 for two outer tie rods, $32 for new caliper bolts, and $68 for new tie rod sleeves. When I got the car back, he told me I needed an alignment, and to go someplace else and get one. I drove the car and it rode the same as it did before, so I didn't get the alignment. Three months later, I have put only 4000 miles on the car and the passenger side ball joint and CV axle just broke again. The mechanic says that this is because I didn't get the alignment, but I'm not so sure. I've driven cars that needed to be aligned before, and never had any ball joints break as a result. I think that he may have not put it on right, or missed something else that caused the problem. Is it likely that needing an alignment would cause a ball joint to break this quick, on only one side, or is this guy trying to hose me?
January 26, 2011.

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